Our friend Erin is from Michigan and is an unreasonably-big fan of all things Michigan, including Michigan’s many lighthouses. So for Erin, here are some lighthouses. Thanks to modern navigation tools now they’re just relics, of course, but still.
First up, the Alpena light, which we passed way too early yesterday morning. This one was built in 1914 to replace several successive predecessors, is covered in red lead paint, and is in danger of disintegration. But in silhouette, it almost appears useful.
In 1855, the crumbling mess of a lighthouse on Thunder Bay Island was replaced with what now is another crumbling mess, although it still looks cool from the water. At least one poor slob in a sailboat apparently tried to get a closer view. Oh, the irony.
Fabulous Middle Island is for sale, with an asking price of $3.9 million for all 227 acres. The Coast Guard owns the unmanned 1905 lighthouse, but whoever buys the island will have use of it and “can sip a morning cup of coffee from its top.” Nice, but we don’t drink coffee.
Presque Isle has not one, but two lighthouses. The first—now called the “old” light—was completed in 1840. It wasn’t very effective, however, because ships kept right on hitting rocks and sinking.
So they built the “new” light in 1870.
On September 16, 1901, a poor doomed sailor put a grisly message in a bottle just before his steamship sank in a Lake Superior storm. The New Presque Isle Light keeper found it the next summer all the way down here. The ship was Hudson, but that probably isn’t a bad omen or anything for birthday girl Debbie, also on Hudson.
Anyway, we made it past all the rocks and limestone reefs, no thanks to any of the cool-looking but completely unhelpful lighthouses. We’d planned to stop at Presque Isle for closer lighthouse inspection, but there’s crap weather in the forecast so we headed on. Not even Algona Buffalo’s selfish and rude decision to anchor right in our path could keep us from reaching Rogers City.
Rogers City. The proud home of the world’s largest limestone quarry.
Anyone who follows this blog knows that we’re suckers for anything that claims to be the world’s largest anything. Doug thus tried to fly the drone over but it was just a bit too far.
How do we know that Rogers City is proud of this enormous Lake Huron eyesore? Easy. They put up signs.
Rogers City also is home to Nowicki’s, which has been in the sausage business since WWI.
In 1977 Phil Nowicki cranked out what then was a record-breaking 8,773-foot monster. That’s dang impressive, although everyone knows it’s not the size of the sausage that matters.
Regardless, the Rogers City Marina was a decent stop. It also gave us the added treat of hanging out with Dutch Treat again.
Today brought another long day, because that same forecast promised rough going most of the week. So we bailed on Cheboygan and headed straight to Mackinaw City. Sunrises are the only redeeming thing about long days, although now that we’ve figured out the secret to a good sunrise photo— zooming way in—they’re all starting to look the same.
Forty Mile Point is so named because it’s forty miles from Mackinaw City. At Tumbleweed speed, that’s still over five hours away and the waves were building as we went by. So it isn’t one of our favorites. Plus this isn’t even an awesomely friendly-looking compound. But it does have a lighthouse so we took a photo.
Poe Reef Light was the last of Tumbleweed’s Lighthouse Extravaganza. Built in 1929, it’s the only one of these things that remains useful to mariners, because it sits atop Poe Reef. Duh. Avoid the lighthouse, avoid the reef. Duh.
Around the corner and past the second Bois Blanc Island we’ve encountered in as many weeks, Big Mac was waiting right where shown on the charts.
The Mackinac Bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac for the purpose of allowing Deb and Sam and Lea to cross from the Upper Peninsula to where we docked Tumbleweed after Dana persevered despite annoying shenanigans by the Michigan Parks people.
The next few days look terrible for boating, so we ain’t boating. Plus, the Wi-Fi at the state marina is awesome for live streaming and the annual disappointment that is Tennessee football starts this week.
2 thoughts on ““Let there be light, and there was light, and it was good” and then the Global Positioning System came along”
As a thank you for the shout-out in today’s post (which always gives me a fangirl thrill), I present to you these fun facts about lighthouses. https://uslhs.org/education/glossaries-facts-trivia/lighthouse-facts
Yeah, well, that’s good stuff, so thanks. Except if you really liked us you’d have sent that before we passed right by Toronto and what turns out to be the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, so that we could’ve taken a photo. The fact that we hadn’t met you yet is no excuse.